J.E. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in an HOA Condo community over a year now. I got on the board as it’s slow on decisions, and the current President doesn’t have time and is slow to address issues. We have, like most condos, more cars than parking space. No street parking. We have a 7-stall for guest parking, but either the owners are parking their 2nd car there, or the ones that are guests don’t have a parking hanger in their car (only 1 per unit is issued). The abuse is by the owners and also their guests. Most are angry that they can’t have visitors as the guest parking is always full…
We established a parking committee to set up and update the rules. Our President thinks it’s too much trouble to have parking decals for every car as “we don’t need to know if that is the owner parking in that spot”, but he agreed we need new guest parking hangers. Right now, we are all frustrated with him, but no one else wants to be President.
Mister Condo replies:
J.E., I feel your pain. Lack of parking in any high-density housing area can be a real problem. I am not sure why it is up to the President to enforce the parking rules but I can see why no one else wants the job. The only way to control the parking abuses is to have significant penalties for the parking abuses and to enforce the rules. Since the Board is challenged in doing so, you might want to consider a third-party to help out. You might also want to engage your association’s attorney to discuss what legally can and cannot be done. Towing is particularly effective but requires specific rules and warning to be in place before you begin such a drastic measure. The bottom line is that rules are in place in your community to solve this problem but unit owners and residents are unwilling to comply. If you can change their mindset that lack of compliance is not an option, you can likely get the situation under control. It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick but you can win this battle in the long run. All the best!